Monday, December 31, 2012

Food Allergies in Housecat

Jack and Shadow

Who would have even thought that a house cat could have food allergies.  When we adopted Shadow several years ago, she was a wild stray who lived outside, eating whatever she could find.  Since then she's become a loving and sweet indoor-only house cat.  She's all black, but with a chocolate shine.  I love her black nose and toes. 

We discovered that Shadow got sick (vomited) whenever we fed her beef canned act food or gave her a piece of beef from our table.  She can eat any flavor dry cat food, dry food didn't seem to bother her before.  When she does eat beef or beef canned food, she immediately throws it up.  However, beef is one of her favorite things.  She's quick to steal steak right off our plates if we're eating in the living room and leave our plate unattended (such as if we go back into the kitchen for something).

Strange.  So, no beef for Shadow.  No biggie.

Then around Thanksgiving this year, I visited a new friend and met her two cats who are beautiful and slender.  She told me she only feeds them Buffalo Blue all natural dry food.  I thought about my three fat indoor cats who only seem to be getting fatter, and decided to put them on an all-natural, gluten-free, healthy diet of Buffalo Blue Wilderness cat food, too.  I tried multiple favors, including duck, chicken, salmon, and the one for mature cats. 

 Shortly after Thanksgiving I realized that Shadow started getting terribly sick, vomiting a lot.  This was much worse than when she ate beef.  But I wasn't letting her have any beef.  Hmmm.  When she vomited, she foamed from the mouth.  She heaved and vomited and continue to throw up white foam even after her stomach was long empty.  However, she didn't lose her appetite from being sick.  A few hours after being sick she'd go back and eat again.  I worried terribly about her.  Not to mention that I hated cleaning up after her.  During this time I swapped out the different flavors of Buffalo Blue Wilderness cat food, letting the cats try the different ones.  I was about to take Shadow to the vet, where I'm sure they would have done tests and x-rays and charged a pretty penny, but she wasn't sick all the time, it was just random, but frequent.  Definitely not normal.

And then finally, last night I realized that Shadow is allergic to the Buffalo Blue Wilderness Duck flavor food.  I watched her eat it and immediately get sick.  Before she gets sick her tongue gets "puffy" or numb or strange feeling, and she sticks her tongue out and makes strange noises with her tongue.  Evidently her tongue and probably throat swells just like a person with food allergies.  And then the horrible constant vomiting and foaming and gagging starts.  I quickly grabbed up the bowl of dry food.  None of the other cats are bothered by it.  Shadow likes it's flavor, just like she likes the flavor of beef.

Who knew that cats can have food allergies?  Evidently Shadow is allergic to beef and duck.  None of the other flavors of the Buffalo Blue cat food bothered her, and they seem to have many of the same ingredients, other than duck.  Shadow hasn't gotten sick at all today.  Eventually I'm going to re-introduce the other flavors of the Buffalo Blue cat food to her and see how she reacts.

I thought I'd share this realization that cats can have food allergies with my online friends, maybe this information can help someone else down the road.   

I hope everyone has a great year in 2013 and I hope we all continue to learn from our online community.  Thanks everyone for helping me so much in 2012!
Happy New Year! 


LindaG said...

We have a cat with allergies, too, apparently.

It started as a sore on her lip and a cortisone shot cleared it up for a year or so. Eventually it moved into her mouth, got worse, and now it's affected many parts of her body. She's been this way almost seven years, I think? I've lost track.

Nothing we have done has helped. I recently switched to grain free dry cat food, too, but it hasn't seemed to make a lot of difference either.
She doesn't vomit, her allergies just keep her chewing on herself or scratching herself.

Glad you were able to quickly figure out what was wrong with your cat.

Have a blessed New Year. ♥

Razzberry Corner said...

LindaG, Wow, that's terrible about your cat with allergies! She must itch, the poor girl! Can the vet continue to give her shots to help her? I love the Blue Buffalo food, all my cats started loosing weight and seemed more energetic during the month they ate it. Shadow probably lost weight because she threw up so much, however.

My mother has a cat that has breathing issues, like asthma, I guess. She gets shots from the vet several times a year. My orange cat, Jack, also has slight asthma, making him wheeze and choke sometimes, but it's not that bad and he doesn't have attacks that often. The vet didn't have any solutions for Jack since it's not that bad. And Jack, too was a stray that we let in.

Thanks for your info. It's good to know! Happy New Year!

Ronna said...

My sister's dogs can only eat a dog food with sweet potato and lamb. They are allergic to chicken and beef and had symptoms that you described.
Funny how an outdoor cat like that, living in the wild, would develop something like that.
I have 3 fat indoor cats and am wondering if I should start them on the Blue Buffalo food too?
Happy New year. Always LOVE your blog updates!!

Razzberry Corner said...

Ronna - I recommend grain-free food like Blue Buffalo. I had the 3 cats on it for a month, and they all lost weight and were more active. They didn't like it the very first day I gave it to them, and then they started eating it because there was nothing else and loved it. Jack especially, the orange cat, lost his big fat spare tire belly in only a month. And he was playing like a kitten again, not just sleeping all day long. It's just weird how Shadow was allergic. Now they are back on Friskies dry food, and in a month they all will be fat and lazy again, I'm sure! Let me know if you change over!

Robin said...

I'm not surprised your cat has food allergies. I haven't noticed any in our cats but our dog Edgar has very noticeable food allergies. He has to be on a grain free food otherwise he turns into an itchy, licking, gassy mess. I've heard that feeding a raw diet can help with food allergies in pets. Which was basically what Shadow was on while he was wild I'm guessing. :)

Razzberry Corner said...

Robin - Wow, Edgar has allergies, too?

I believe that at least on of my blog followers, Natalie, put her cats on a raw diet and it works for her. I'm just concerned that if I give my cats raw food they'll eat it all right away, then go hungry for the next 12 hours until I feed them again. We're just not around that much to feed them more often, that's why I like dry food - they eat when they want. Maybe I'll have to chat with Nat... You're right, that Shadow was on a raw diet until she came inside. And now she's a fattie because of the never-ending dry food availability.

I do like the idea of grain-free food for cats and dogs, wish it wasn't so expensive!


Country Girl said...

You have seen our fat cat Zoey. I really think she has gotten fat because she loves to eat, and we mostly have fed her dry cat food. I think I will try the Buffalo Blue (is that what it's called?) for her and see if she can lose a little weight. I think I can get it at Pet Smart. Thanks for the thought and for sharing about cat allergies.

dog food chicago il said...

To avoid your housecats from these allergies, you can give them a good and fresh food whose are available on online stores. These foods are for their health and some online pet stores offer a free home delivery.